UFC Bantamweight Fighter Arrested for Two Counts of Pre-Meditated Murder

by Quentin Blount

UFC bantamweight fighter Irwin Rivera is facing charges on two counts of first-degree murder following his arrest and booking on Thursday in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The UFC fighter was brought into custody on Thursday afternoon at approximately 12:08 p.m. ET.

According to authorities with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office online arrest records, Rivera is in jail at the Main Detention Center. The circumstances leading to Rivera’s arrest are still unclear. However, according to MMA reporter Eric Kowal, the 31-year-old fighter allegedly stabbed his sisters.

Upon investigation, Boynton Beach police officers went to a residence and reportedly found two women with multiple stab wounds, per the incident report. The younger woman, 22, had wounds in her back, head and arm. The older woman, 33, had wounds throughout her back, face, arms and hands. Both were still alive and went to a nearby hospital.

Rivera’s sisters told police that they were staying with their brother in one of his spare rooms. In an unthinkable scenario, they say they awoke to the UFC fighter repeatedly stabbing them with a knife, according to the report.

Rivera fled the scene, however, police made contact with him at about 7 a.m. local time on Thursday morning. Per the police report, Rivera says, “I killed my sisters.” Also according to the report, Rivera says that he enters his sisters’ bedroom while they were sleeping and stabbed them with a “brass knuckle knife.” The fighter told police that he had attempted to kill his sisters because it was his purpose, told to him by a “higher power.”

First-degree murder charges in Florida can carry a maximum sentence of the death penalty.

UFC Issues Statement

The UFC said it was aware of the ongoing situation. Rivera’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz of Dominance MMA, made promotion officials aware of potential “mental health issues.”

“UFC is aware of the recent incident involving Irwin Rivera and subsequently received information from his management that he has been exhibiting behavior consistent with mental health issues.”

The statement continues … “The allegations are extremely troubling and the organization is currently gathering additional information. The investigation is ongoing and any potential next steps including disciplinary action or medical attention will be determined upon the conclusion. Furthermore, UFC has informed Rivera’s management that he will not be offered a bout at this time.”

Rivera made his UFC bantamweight debut (135 lbs.) last year in May and went 1-2 with the promotion. However, the 31-year-old most recently dropped a split decision to Andre Ewell last September at UFC Fight Night 178. As it currently stands, he has a professional record of 10-6.

Prior to his arrest, Rivera was on schedule to fight at UFC Fight Night in March. Check out the full UFC schedule for 2021 here.

This is a developing story.